Video interviews are becoming more and more popular with recruiters, and they’re a wonderful opportunity to make a real human connection with hiring decision-makers. For some remote positions or jobs requiring relocation, video interviews may be the only kind you have, so make yours stand out by planning ahead to make it excellent. Lighting and sound make a difference when you’re trying to appear professional, so we’re offering our top 5 lighting and sound tips to help you make a good impression in your video interviews.

Location is Everything

You want the focus to be on your face and what you're saying during the interview, so choosing a clear background that's free of distractions is key. Avoid windows and walls full of pictures, posters, or knickknacks. Eliminate anything that could draw the interviewer's attention away from you. If your webcam has an auto focus feature you will want the camera to focus on you and not something behind. If you select the right room for your video interview everything else becomes so much easier.

Lighting Matters

Pay attention to the lighting. You want the interviewer to be able to see your face clearly, so try a test video beforehand to make sure lights aren't casting any shadows on your face. Aim to have one light coming from behind you, one light on your right, and one light on your left to create a glow around you. Finally, close all the window shades.

Clothing and Body Position

Pick clothes in a solid color that looks good on you. Avoid patterns on shirts, jackets and ties. You want to dress exactly as if you were going for the interview in person. This can have a strong effect on your mindset, and if you're too comfortable in the sweatpants you have on out of frame, that will come through in your attitude and speech.

Showing yourself from the waist or chest up is generally recommended for video interviews, so you don't look like a floating head. Just as with an in-person interview, it's important to be mindful of your body language to leave a positive impression on the interviewer. Be careful to keep your hand movements contained and within the video frame and be aware that your gestures aren't always going to translate over video the same way they would in person. It is also crucial to maintain a pleasant facial expression during the interview. And don’t make one of the most common digital interview mistakes: Failing to make eye contact. Its natural to look at your own face on the screen, or at your interviewer’s face, but take the time to look at your laptop’s camera lens as well. This enables you to look directly in the eyes of your interviewer and make the connection.

Make Sure You’re Connected

Always test your video and audio right before an interview to ensure everything is working properly. You don't want to risk the headache or embarrassment of technology issues during a conversation with a potential employer. A stable wireless connection is essential, be sure to choose a location where you know your connection is strong. You may find that your phone or tablet has better cameras and microphones than your laptop.  Sometimes you’ll have to download or update an app in order to participate in the interview, so make sure that you’ve done that part well in advance.

Bring a Cheat Sheet

One digital interview perk is that the hiring manager can only see what’s on screen. Write down key points you want to be sure to make and place them behind the camera where you can see them. You don’t want to read from a script but knowing it’s there will boost your confidence.

When you look at video interviews not as a trial, but as an opportunity to make a real human connection, you’ll have everything you need. Taking a few minutes to set up lighting and sound will allow you to shine and make a positive first impression on your future coworkers. You’ve got this. 

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